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U.S. retail gasoline prices lowest since 2009 heading into Memorial Day weekend

EIA -- On May 18, the U.S. average retail price for gasoline was $2.74 per gallon ($/gal), or 92¢ per gallon (¢/gal) lower than at the same time last year. This is the lowest average price heading into the Memorial Day weekend—the traditional start of the summer driving season—since 2009.

Lower gasoline prices reflect lower crude oil prices, with the spot price of North Sea Brent crude oil at more than $45 per barrel ($/b) lower than the same time last year, despite having increased more than $10/b since the beginning of February.
Average retail prices for all regions of the country are below the level at the same time last year, even in the West Coast Region, where supply disruptions pushed gasoline prices to $3.51/gal on May 18, 77¢/gal higher than the U.S. average. Average retail gasoline pr  (go to article)

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Pipeline operator in oil spill has high rate of safety infractions

Ventura County Star -- LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Plains Pipeline, the large Texas-based company responsible for the pipe that ruptured in Santa Barbara County, has accumulated 175 safety and maintenance infractions since 2006, according to federal records.

A Times analysis of data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration shows Plains' rate of incidents per mile of pipe is more than three times the national average.

The company's infractions involved pump failure, equipment malfunction, pipeline corrosion and operator error. None of the incidents resulted in injuries. According to federal records, since 2006 the company's incidents caused more than $23 million in property damage and spilled more than 688,000 gallons of hazardous liquid.

A Plains Pipeline spokesman did not immediately respon  (go to article)

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Gas prices set to fall

CNN Money -- Gas prices have been steadily climbing, but with the summer driving season starting with the Memorial Day weekend, drivers could soon begin to see some relief at the pump.

"Everything points to the notion that we are very close to a peak price of 2015," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, which tracks prices for AAA, as well as GasBuddy.com

The average price of a gallon of regular gas heading into the weekend stood at $2.74, the high point so far this year. That's up 25 cents a gallon over the last month, but it's still about 90 cents a gallon cheaper than gas was a year ago.  (go to article)

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Oil’s Whodunit Moment Coming With Millions of Barrels to Vanish

Bloomberg -- Millions of barrels of untapped oil that U.S. shale drillers discovered during the boom years are about to disappear from their inventories.  (go to article)

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Saudi Oil Supply Outpaces Rivals in Grab for Record China Demand

Bloomberg -- Saudi Arabia expanded its share of China’s oil market last month, outpacing rival producers as they compete to meet record demand from the world’s biggest energy consumer.

China’s imports from the Middle East producer jumped 37 percent from a year earlier to the highest level since July 2013, according to customs data. The world’s biggest crude exporter was the No. 1 supplier to the Asian nation, accounting for 17.4 percent of its overseas purchases, up from 15.1 percent in March. The next three largest sellers -- Russia, Iran and Angola -- lost market share.

Record imports by China are contributing to a recovery in benchmark oil from a six-year low amid speculation the purchases will help shrink the global supply glut that drove crude’s collapse in 2014. Saudi Arabia has led OPEC’s pol  (go to article)

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ACLU sues Michigan over transgender driver's licenses

wndu.com -- DETROIT The state of Michigan is being sued over its refusal to change gender identities on driver'slicenses without a new birth certificate.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is representing six transgender people who no longer recognize their birth gender. But the ACLU says the secretary of state won't allow them to change their license unless they present an amended birth certificate.

The ACLU says that's "difficult if not impossible." A lawsuit filed Thursday in Detroit federal court asks that Michigan's policy be declared unconstitutional.

The ACLU says an amended birth certificate in Michigan requires proof of transgender surgery, although most transgender people don't want surgery.

Secretary of State spokeswoman Gisgie Gendreau says the agency is following state law  (go to article)

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Oil’s Whodunit Moment Coming With Millions of Barrels to Vanish

Bloomberg -- Millions of barrels of untapped oil that U.S. shale drillers discovered during the boom years are about to disappear from their inventories.

Six years ago, the industry pushed the Securities and Exchange Commission to make it easier for companies to claim proved reserves for wells that wouldn’t be drilled for years. Some prospects considered sure-things when crude was $95 a barrel are money losers at today’s $60. When crude crashed in 2008, 44 U.S. companies wiped 630 million barrels from their books.

Now the stakes are higher. Of all the proved reserves of oil and natural gas liquids found by the 44 companies since 2008, more than half -- 5.4 billion barrels out of the 9.7 billion -- is attributed to wells that don’t exist yet, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
 (go to article)

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California DMV scrambles to write the rules for driverless cars

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..nypost.comAfter a year of testing its bubble-shaped driverless cars on the empty roads of a shuttered Central Valley military base, Google is about to deploy its fleet on the busy streets of Silicon Valley.According to the San Jose Mercury News, for now, the cars must have safety drivers ready to grab the wheel or hit the brakes if something goes wrong. But self-driving software could soon move from test cars to consumer vehicles as the California Department of Motor Vehicles puts finishing touches this month on new operational rules for autonomous cars, making it the first government in the world to create a detailed handbook for robots on the road.  Are you ready for this? ...  (go to article)

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Why Oil's Rally Is Over

Yahoo! Finance -- A lot of people have got very excited as the price of WTI has bounced back from the lows reached a few months ago. If oil fails to break and hold above $62 this time around, however, their enthusiasm could well be misplaced, as the fundamental factors that caused the price decline in the first instance are still in place.

That, combined with the technical importance of this challenge of the resistance, makes a drop back below $50 look more likely than a continued rally. When short-term technical indicators and long-term fundamentals both suggest a move in the same direction, as is the case here, investors are well advised to pay attention.
 (go to article)

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What's Next for Oil Prices? Look Out Below!

Yahoo! Finance -- The recent rebound in the price of crude oil — up some 40 percent from the March low — dragged energy stocks higher through the beginning of the month. This, in turn, has powered a rebound in inflation expectations in the fixed-income market, punishing long-term Treasury bond prices and pushing up yields.

As a result, the deflationary danger that many worried about earlier this year seems to have passed. Gasoline is back over $4 a gallon again in California. Corporate earnings look set to rebound. Just like that, all is right in the world again. Whew.

But doubts are growing about the sustainability of the oil rally given still high inventory levels, high U.S. production, and now, reports that the Saudis are ramping up production in a belief they've "won" the showdown with...  (go to article)

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The Tesla battery heralds the beginning of the end for fossil fuels

singapore-business-news/Industry/ --
Musk is going to manufacture the batteries in the United States, at the “gigafactory” he is building just over the border from California in Nevada. He is not waiting for some totally new technology, but is scaling up the tried and tested lithium-ion battery that he is already using for his electric vehicles.

Not just for homes

Now the fossil fuel companies – from fuel suppliers such as coal miners to coal-burning electric power utilities – will be on the defensive, fighting the new normal of cheaper renewable supplies and storage. Instead of asking “can we have our own energy system?” communities will be asking “why can’t we have it?”

 (go to article)

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Where are the Unicorns?

The Energy Collective -- Congress Mandates Cellulosic Ethanol and The EPA Tracks It

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked with tracking compliance under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) that was set in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). Obligated parties under the RFS2 must demonstrate compliance with Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), which the EPA created to track RFS2 compliance. A RIN is a 38-character number assigned to a gallon equivalent of renewable fuel produced or imported. For corn ethanol, 1 gallon of ethanol produced generates 1 RIN. Other kinds of biofuel generates RINs at different rates which are defined by the EPA. For certain gaseous biofuels, such as di-methyl-ether (DME) and bio-methane (methane produced from sewage sludge or manure), the EPA h  (go to article)

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1969 Santa Barbara oil spill changed oil and gas exploration forever

Haynesville.com-The Los Angeles Times -- The oil spill that sent at least 21,000 gallons of crude through the waters near the Santa Barbara County coast on Tuesday brought haunting echoes of a much larger spill nearly half a century ago, one that gave birth to the modern environmental movement and forever changed the trajectory of oil and gas exploration in California.

The Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969 spewed an estimated 3-million gallons of crude oil into the ocean, creating an oil slick 35 miles long along California’s coast and killing thousands of birds, fish and sea mammals.

Following the spill, the region became ground zero for some of the most significant conservation efforts of the 20th century.

The Jan. 28, 1969, blowout was caused by inadequate safety precautions taken by Unocal, which was known then as Union Oil.  (go to article)

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OPEC Refuses to Yield in Battle for Oil-Market Share

BloombergBusiness -- OPEC will stick with the strategy of favoring market share over prices when it meets next month because rival producers are already starting to buckle.

All but one of the 34 analysts and traders surveyed by Bloomberg said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will maintain its daily production target of 30 million barrels when it meets in Vienna on June 5.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest of OPEC’s 12 members, shaped the strategy at the last meeting in November, arguing that the usual response of cutting output to boost prices would not address the threat from shale and other higher-cost suppliers. Prices rose 46 percent since mid-January as producers cut spending plans and the number of active U.S. drilling rigs fell by the most ever.

“Dramatic cuts in spending and drilling are...  (go to article)

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BP Oil Spill Led to Biggest Gulf Dolphin Die-Off Recorded

Newsweek.com -- A study released by the federal government Wednesday adds certainty to the conclusion that the 2010 BP oil spill led to an ongoing spike in bottlenose dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico.

Lesions discovered on the lungs and adrenal glands of dead dolphins found within the footprint of the Deepwater Horizon spill are clear indications of exposure to oil products, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) researchers involved in the study.

“No feasible alternative causes remain,” Stephanie Venn-Watson, a veterinary epidemiologist who led the study, told reporters Wednesday. The lesions found by the researchers indicate that many of the dolphins had bacterial pneumonia and adrenal disorders that likely caused their deaths.
 (go to article)

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This Innovation Will Help U.S. Companies Win The Oil Price War

OilPrice.com -- Although some US oil companies are struggling with low oil prices, a new wave of innovation is hitting the oil patch, allowing for a significant reduction in drilling costs.

A variety of different improvements in production are starting to show up at all levels across the industry from small firms to oil majors. Statoil for example recently noted that it is experimenting with different types of sand and chemicals to improve production. And a number of companies have noted that they are moving from drilling wells one at a time, on an ad hoc basis, to drilling multiple wells at once. GE Oil & Gas has produced variable-use pumps that can be turned on and off in order to save energy versus the previous 24-hour a day operation cycle.

The end result of these actions is that per-barrel costs  (go to article)

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Millions expected to travel for Memorial Day

wndu.com -- Mishawaka, Ind.-- The Memorial Day holiday travel period starts Thursday and will run through Monday, May 25. In that time, AAA Travel projects 37.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home.

That is a 4.7 percent increase from the 35.5 million people who traveled last year and the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years.

AAA says more than 88 percent of travelers will get to their destination by car, air travel is expected to increase 2.5 percent, and travel by cruises, trains and buses is expected to decrease.

When it comes to gas prices, experts say they should peak for 2015 at about $2.75 per gallon in the next several days. Drivers should see slight declines through the summer. That’s barring any major refining incident, hurricane, or other disrupting facto  (go to article)

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Driverless cars may cut U.S. sales by 40%, Barclays says

AutoNews.com -- U.S. auto sales may drop about 40 percent in the next 25 years because of shared driverless cars, forcing mass-market producers such as General Motors and Ford Motor Co. to slash output, a Barclays Plc analyst said.

Vehicle ownership rates may fall by almost half as families move to having just one car, according to a report published today by the analyst, Brian Johnson. Driverless cars will travel twice as many miles as current autos because they will transport each family member during the day, he wrote.

Large-volume automakers “would need to shrink dramatically to survive,” Johnson wrote. “GM and Ford would need to reduce North American production by up to 68 percent and 58 percent, respectively.”

Self-driving cars have become a frequent topic for auto executives as the technology fo  (go to article)

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Gas Prices Should Stay Low This Summer, And Could Hit $2 By Fall, Researchers Say

Forbes -- You’ve probably noticed that the price of unleaded gasoline has inched up over the past few weeks. That’s typical gas price behavior as Memorial Day approaches, and motorists set off on summer vacations.

The good news, according to a Purdue University researcher, is that gas prices this summer ought to be significantly lower than they were in summer, 2014.

Purdue energy economist Wally Tyner is predicting that gas prices will remain below $3 a gallon for unleaded, except in California and Hawaii where prices are normally higher than in the rest of the country.

The average price of unleaded fuel last week was $2.71 a gallon, according to AAA. Although the price has gone up steadily the past month, it’s still 94 cents a gallon cheaper than at this time a year ago.

One reason Purdue’s Tyn  (go to article)

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OPEC Struggling To Keep Up The Pace In Oil Price War

Oil Price -- Some market watchers, such as Cornerstone Analytics (CA), have consistently stated that the underestimation of demand, coupled with over-estimation of supply, will mask the growing call on OPEC oil in the second half of this year. CA recently noted that global demand outstripped supply by some 4 million barrels in April . This comes in addition to the mounting evidence that the oil market, via rig count declines, slowing production growth, higher demand and huge API crude inventory declines, is starting to readjust.

Be that as it may, Goldman Sachs (GS) seems to believe oil must fall to $45 by October (like it previously thought $30 oil was a certainty) to clear the market and rebalance, despite signs that a readjustment is already underway. When was the last time fundaments got ignored a  (go to article)

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More travelers, lower gas prices predicted for this Memorial Day weekend

NWI Times -- More than 37 million people are expected to travel more than 50 miles from home over the Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA Travel. But to counter any congestion-related travel blues, motorists in the Chicago metropolitan area will continue to get a break on gas prices.
“AAA is expecting more Memorial Day travelers this year than any time in the past 10 years as consumers come out of hibernation ready to explore national parks, beach destinations and America’s great cities,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago.
“A strong employment market and low gas prices have driven consumer confidence to new highs and boosted Americans’ disposable income.  (go to article)

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Canada's Irving Oil Slams Former Top Executive Over Lawsuit

Reuters -- BOSTON, May 21 (Reuters) - Canada's Irving Oil rejected former top executive Mike Ashar's allegation that he was underpaid millions of dollars, painting him instead as an "unsuccessful" hire who oversaw a decline in the family-owned company's worth during his five-year tenure, according to court documents filed this week.

The legal battle has offered a rare glimpse inside the closely-held company, which runs Canada's largest oil refinery in the Atlantic province of New Brunswick, and is planning to build a storage terminal for the country's most ambitious oil pipeline project, TransCanada's Energy East.
 (go to article)

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B.C. signs LNG deal with Petronas-led group, but tax promises criticized

The Globe and Mail -- The B.C. government has signed a development deal with Pacific NorthWest LNG in an aggressive move to spur the Malaysian-led project to become the first major Canadian exporter of liquefied natural gas.
The pact spells out the tax regime and LNG rules for the long term, aiming to reduce the risks for the project’s Asian backers.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Pacific NorthWest LNG president Michael Culbert signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday, clearing the way for the project development agreement’s ratification later this year from the B.C. legislature.
“There has been a lot of work getting here in obtaining and securing a $36-billion investment and there’s still a lot of work ahead of us,” Ms. Clark said during a news conference in Vancouver. “We’ve worked hard to build strong  (go to article)

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Anticosti oil, gas drilling proposals pitched to residents

CBC News -- There could be up to 6,500 wells dug on Quebec's Anticosti Island by the end of this century, according to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand.
¦Quebec takes control of oil exploration off Anticosti Island
¦Gaz Métro strikes deal in Anticosti natural gas exploitation
¦Anticosti hunt for oil sparks concern over taxpayer risk
Arcand announced Thursday two possible scenarios for oil and gas drilling on Anticosti, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The scenarios were submitted to the island's population at a public consultation.
The first would see up to 6,500 wells during a 75-year production period. The second would have 3,900 wells over a period of 56 years.
In both scenarios, production would begin in 2020.
"What I've seen from the report, there are protected territories, there a  (go to article)

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Get Ready for Solar Boom From China Plants as Asia Demand Swells

Bloomberg -- Solar panel makers globally are preparing for their best year since 2011, when U.S.-backed Solyndra LLC went bust, as China and Japan take advantage of falling prices to shift more of their energy production to clean power.

Panel production is forecast to grow by almost a third this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s a significant reversal for an industry that’s been crippled by its own excess as companies in China including JA Solar Holdings Co. and LDK Solar Co. raised almost $3 billion in 2007 and 2008 to expand production.

By 2010, the market was so oversupplied that the cost of solar cells began tumbling. With the cost of panels down by 66 percent since then, demand is surging as solar technology, for the first time, is able to compete head-to-head on price  (go to article)

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The Grim Promise of India's Coal-Powered Future

Bloomberg -- India is adding 2.5 times as much coal capacity as the U.S. is closing. Some 1.3 billion people need electricity — and the earth needs a break

Burning coal is both a proven way to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and the most dangerous fuel driving global warming. The United Nations has set itself the goal of reconciling these two things, and the results are shaky at best.

Energy ministries from more than 30 nations are meeting at the UN this week, at the Sustainable Development for All Forum, to debate how best to supply electricity to the 1.3 billion people who don't have it—at least 250 million of whom are Indians. The drive toward universal energy access is just one element of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, a super-ambitious worldwide to-do list  (go to article)

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Next Jeep Wrangler won't go all-in on aluminum

FOX News -- America’s most old-school truck is sticking with steel.

Jeep considered switching the next-generation Wrangler to a lightweight aluminum body to improve fuel efficiency and capability, similar to Ford’s recent move with the F-150 pickup, but after running the numbers, has decided against it.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne said they’d simulated the mileage, “but because of the difference in costs, not just in materials but the actual assembly process, I think we can do almost as well without aluminum,” The Wall Street Journal reports.  (go to article)

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Texas blocks direct Tesla sales; Texas pol thinks company is run by ‘Mr. Tesla’

BGR News -- Despite Tesla’s best efforts, the Texas legislature this week opted not to pass a bill which would have allowed the electric automaker to sell cars directly to consumers. Instead, if Tesla wants to sell its highly revered vehciles in the lone star state, it looks like it’s going to have to do it through local franchise dealers, something the company has no intention of doing.

The following criticism from Texas state Representative Senfronia Thompson highlights the challenge Tesla is up against.

“It would have been wiser if Mr. Tesla had sat down with the car dealers first,” Thompson said.

Yes, if only Mr. Tesla came back from the dead to sit down for a nice little tete-a-tete with car dealers, perhaps then they could have hammered out a mutually beneficial agreement.

The losers in all  (go to article)

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Canada Oil Patch to See Massive Consolidation, Belski Says

Bloomberg -- Canada will see increased energy mergers and acquisitions in the next 5 to 10 years as cheaper oil forces producers to cut costs, Bank of Montreal’s Brian Belski said.
“Remember the mid-90s, late-90s, massive consolidation for Canada’s big energy companies?” Belski, chief investment strategist at the bank, said during the Bloomberg Canada Economic Summit in Toronto on Thursday. “We think we’re going to see a replay of that.”
 (go to article)

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Takata Deflated: Airbag Recall America's Largest

GasBuddy Blog -- (c)IIHSThe National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has brought the hammer down on Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata. As news broke Tuesday, the agency, which had previously been criticized for being too soft on the automobile industry, announced the largest recall in American automotive history. The recall of Takata-made airbags in 34 million vehicles is said to affect 1 in 7 vehicles on the road today. 
The airbags in question were under investigation for sending shrapnel throughout the car’s compartment upon deployment. These bits of shrapnel could be lodged in passengers, with injuries similar to gunshot or stab wounds....  (go to article)

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Saudi Oil Minister Says World Can’t Abandon Fossil Fuels

The Wall Street Journal -- Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Thursday that he sees a great future for solar power but that the world can’t abandon fossil fuels in the short term

Mr. Naimi, speaking on a panel in Paris, addressed questions about whether the world’s oil-and-gas companies should move on to other forms of energy in the face of climate change linked to human carbon emissions. He said it wouldn’t make economic sense to make a dramatic move now.
 (go to article)

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Oil Prices Strengthen on U.S. Supply Drop

WSJ -- Oil prices gained Thursday on a decline in U.S. oil storage levels and better economic numbers from China.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery recently rose $1.04, or 1.8%, to $60.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, the global benchmark, rose 81 cents, or 1.3%, to $65.84 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.

U.S. oil inventories fell by 2.7 million barrels last week, the third draw in a row, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday. U.S. oil output also fell, to below 9.3 million barrels a day, its lowest level since early February.  (go to article)

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California oil spill cleanup: Governor declares emergency to cut 'red tape'

CNN -- Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency to help clean up an oil pipeline spill that may have dumped more than 100,000 gallons of crude in Southern California.

"This emergency proclamation cuts red tape and helps the state quickly mobilize all available resources," Brown said Wednesday evening. "We will do everything necessary to protect California's coastline."

A ruptured 24-inch pipeline gets the blame for leaking oil near Refugio State Beach, a protected state park about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles, just before Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer tourist season.  (go to article)

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Who Pays For Roads?

USPIRG -- Today, general taxes paid by all taxpayers cover nearly as much of the cost of building and maintaining highways as the gas tax and other fees paid by drivers. The purchasing power of gasoline taxes has declined as a result of inflation, improved vehicle fuel economy, and the recent stagnation in driving. As a result, so-called “user fees” cover a shrinking share of transportation costs.
The time has come for policy-makers
to recognize something that has been true for years, but is especially true today: we
all pay for America’s roads.
Nearly as much of the cost of building
and maintaining highways now comes
from general taxes such as income
and sales taxes (plus additional federal
debt) as comes from gasoline taxes or other “user fees” on drivers. General taxes accounted for $69 billion o  (go to article)

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Low crude oil prices, increased gasoline demand lead to high refiner margins

EIA.gov -- Gasoline crack spreads in the United States, especially on the U.S. East Coast, have reached several-year highs in recent months. Crack spreads, which reflect the difference between wholesale product prices and crude oil prices, are a good indicator of refiner profitability.

For example, in April 2015, wholesale conventional gasoline in New York Harbor averaged $1.79 per gallon (gal), and the Brent crude oil spot price averaged $1.41/gal ($59.39 per barrel, divided by 42 gallons per barrel). The difference in prices results in a crack spread of 38 cents/gal, the highest crack spread for the month of April since 2007.

Strength in gasoline crack spreads can also be seen in regions beyond the United States. In the European gasoline market, the Northwest Europe gasoline-Brent crack spread av  (go to article)

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An Alaskan Island Goes 100% Renewable

Rocky Mountain Institute -- As most Alaskans can attest, energy in The Last Frontier is expensive. The average residential electricity rate of more than 18 cents per kWh is a full 50 percent higher than the national average, ranking among the highest in the country. That’s in part because outside the 50 hydro plants throughout the state, most of Alaska’s rural communities rely on imported diesel for their electricity. But the folks of Kodiak Island (pop. 15,000) in southern Alaska—powered almost 100 percent with renewable energy—have a different story to tell.  (go to article)

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New Truck Feature Makes the ‘Tension-Filled Ordeal’ of Backing Up With a Trailer So Much Easier

THEBLAZE -- If you’ve ever tried to back up a vehicle with a trailer hitched to it, trying to guide it in the right direction, you know how difficult, counterintuitive and frustrating this process can be.

Thank you Ford for creating technology that allows drivers to more intuitively control how they back up with their hitched cargo.

“Backing up a trailer can be tricky,” Ford’s news release stated. “The truck’s front wheels have to be turned the opposite direction the customer wants the trailer to go. Turn too hard and the trailer can hit the vehicle, or jackknife. Whether working alone or with a spotter, backing up a trailer can be a tension-filled ordeal.”

The “Pro Trailer Backup Assist” will be available for all 2016 Ford F-150 trucks. The feature, which was in development for nearly a decade...  (go to article)

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What's Next for Oil Prices? Look Out Below!

Fiscal Times -- The recent rebound in the price of crude oil — up some 40 percent from the March low — dragged energy stocks higher through the beginning of the month. This, in turn, has powered a rebound in inflation expectations in the fixed-income market, punishing long-term Treasury bond prices and pushing up yields.

? Quotes in the article Barclays PLCBCS

?

17.00+0.13

+0.77%


Goldman Sachs Group IncGS

?

204.58-0.43

-0.21%


Citigroup IncC

?

54.95+0.07

+0.13%

As a result, the deflationary danger that many worried about earlier this year seems to have passed. Gasoline is back over $4 a gallon again in California. Corporate earnings look set to rebound. Just like that, all is right in the world again. Whew.

But doubts are growing about  (go to article)

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CRUDE OIL PRICES SURGE ON DECLINING INVENTORY

YAHOO FINANCE -- Crude oil price rally
This series provides an analysis of crude oil prices and fundamentals. For an in-depth fundamental look at crude oil and related companies, sectors, and drivers, please refer to our Energy and Power page.

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil futures contracts for July delivery increased by 1.71% and closed at $58.98 per barrel on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Oil prices increased due to a decline in weekly US crude oil inventory data. The US benchmark following ETFs like the United States Oil Fund LP (USO) and the ProShares Ultra DJ-UBS Crude Oil (UCO) reflected WTI crude oil’s price movement in yesterday’s trade. They also increased by 1.07% and 1.86%, respectively, on May 20.USO long term May 21 2015
Enlarge Graph
On May 20, 2015, the EIA (U.S. Energy Info  (go to article)

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NHTSA moves to speed 34M Takata recall repairs

Detroit News -- Washington — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday it was launching a legal effort to compel 11 major automakers to complete the recall of 34 million vehicles with possible defective Takata air bags in a speedy fashion — and possibly force them to “accelerate repairs.”

On Tuesday, Japanese air bag manufacturer Takata Corp. agreed to file four defect reports declaring 33.8 million vehicles defective with air bags that can deploy with too much force causing deadly fragments, which are connected to at least six deaths and more than 100 injuries.

That announcement nearly doubles the 17 million vehicles that automakers have recalled to date to address problems. Completing production of replacement parts could take at least two years.

NHTSA’s legal action is extreme  (go to article)

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Oil rises towards $66 on U.S. inventory drop, Iraq

Reuters -- Oil rose towards $66 a barrel on Thursday, gaining for a second day on expectations that a global supply glut is starting to ease and supported by fighting in Iraq.

The U.S. government's supply report on Wednesday showed crude inventories declined for a third week. Stockpiles had been at record levels due to excess supply, raising concern that storage capacity was getting tight
 (go to article)

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Toyota, Mazda announce 'long-term partnership' in technology

Washington Post / Associated Press -- By Yuri Kageyama?|?AP

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. and Japanese rival Mazda are expanding their partnership to a long-term one focusing on technologies in the areas of safety and fuel efficiency.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda and Mazda Motor Corp. President Masamichi Kogai shook hands at a Tokyo hotel on Wednesday, both smiling and decked out in dark suits and red ties.

The companies are setting up a joint committee to figure out how best to work together. Both sides said the goal was to have their engineers work together on product development.

“It’s more an engagement,” Toyoda said, responding to comparisons to the event as a wedding. The companies aren’t taking stakes in each other.

Toyoda expressed interest in Hiroshima-based Mazda’s fuel-efficient technology for gasoline engine  (go to article)

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Does scientific evidence support a reduction in the drink-driving limit?

The Guardian -- The Police Federation have called for the drink-driving limit to be lowered in England and Wales, to bring it in line with Scotland and most other parts of Europe. They have claimed that people, in particular women, are not heeding the current limit, and putting lives at risk.

What is the scientific evidence for the current and proposed limits? And just how much alcohol do you need to drink before your driving will be impaired?

Alcohol has a negative impact on a variety of the skills needed for driving. Not only does it slow our reaction times, but it can impair our judgement too, which might make us more likely to get behind the wheel when we’ve had one or two too many. This is why we ourselves might not be best placed to judge whether we’re safe to drive or not, and emphasizes the ...  (go to article)

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Oklahoma set to overturn local drilling controls as backlash brews

Reuters -- Facing a backlash over the side effects of its oil and gas boom, Oklahoma is poised to overturn an 80-year-old statute that allows cities and towns to ban drilling operations within their borders.

The legislation, now being finalised, would help insulate energy companies from local movements that have grown in response to the rapid expansion of oil and gas drilling and a dramatic spike in earthquakes across the central state.

Oklahoma now sees 600 times more tremors than it did before 2008, a surge seismologists say is linked to vast amounts of wastewater injected into the ground as a result of drilling for oil and from hydraulic fracturing - a process to extract natural gas that is also known as fracking.

The bill was championed by energy companies, which contend that local interferenc  (go to article)

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Your Home Doesn't Matter for Tesla's Dream of a Battery-Powered Planet

Bloomberg -- Elon Musk has done something remarkable. He built a 220-pound battery to hang on the garage wall and convinced a huge number of people that owning one is a lifestyle choice—like having a compost bin in the garden and reusable diapers on the baby. His battery is personal, and it's going to change the world with your help.

If only it were so. While the pairing of home batteries with solar power makes deeply intuitive sense, the problem is that it doesn’t make financial sense. Not now, not anytime soon, and definitely not in the U.S. I first wrote about the issue just after the high-profile launch, arguing that interest in Tesla's consumer-oriented Powerwall batteries wouldn't be based on sound financial reasoning. When Musk was asked about my findings in his earnings call with analysts  (go to article)

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After Fracking Win, N.Y. Environmental Groups Turn to GMO Fight

Bloomberg -- New York state environmental groups are taking the black villain hats off drilling companies like Chesapeake Energy Corp. and placing them on Monsanto Co. and other sellers of genetically modified produce.

After beating back an attempt by energy companies to get Governor Andrew Cuomo to allow fracking in December, groups that only a few months ago were studying seismic activity in Ohio and Pennsylvania have pivoted to genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Food & Water Watch, the New York Public Interest Research Group and Catskill Mountainkeeper, all of which were part of New Yorkers Against Fracking, have helped form a new group called the New York GMO Labeling Coalition.

“They have to have a cause to sustain their business model,” said Rick Zimmerman, an Albany lobbyist  (go to article)

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US Pacific Northwest to get rare ULSD cargo from Canada, reversing export trend

Platts -- A trading house was heard Tuesday to be arranging to import a cargo of ultra low sulfur diesel into the US Pacific Northwest, reversing the region's export trend as it continues to be the most expensive diesel spot market in the country.

"There is a cargo and some barges coming in during all these turnarounds," a Portland diesel trader said. "Mostly though diesel will be exported from the PNW as the like of BP and Tesoro are usually long."

The cargo was heard coming from Chevron's 55,000 b/d refinery in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Regional refinery issues have plagued the tight spot market, which already relies on Jones Act barges that come from Chevron's 257,000 b/d Richmond, California, refinery.

The region's largest refinery, BP's 234,000 b/d Cherry Point in Washington, is undergoin  (go to article)

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Arctic Drill Rig Sparks Outcry

Associated Press -- SEATTLE — Foes of Royal Dutch Shell’s use of a seaport terminal to prepare for exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean attacked on two fronts Monday as a few hundred protesters blocked port entrances and the City of Seattle declared that Shell and its maritime host lacked a proper permit.  (go to article)

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Private lawsuit over B.C. fuel spill to continue

The Globe and Mail - VANCOUVER -- A woman who launched a rare private prosecution following a fuel spill in B.C.’s Slocan Valley says she will continue the case on her own if the federal Public Prosecution Service doesn’t want to take it over.
Approximately 30,000L of fuel spilled into Lemon Creek in July, 2013. The fuel was being carried by a tanker truck operated by Executive Flight Centre Fuel Services, which had been hired by the province to supply fuel for helicopters battling forest fires. The truck crashed while being driven on a forest service road.
A report following the spill said at least 260 fish and a dozen water birds were killed. The report said more fish may have died, but had been swept away by the fast current. However, charges were not laid against the company under the Fisheries Act.
Marilyn Burgoon, an  (go to article)

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Rising carbon emissions from oilsands a 'unique' challenge, federal cabinet told

CBC News -- Greenhouse gas emissions from increasing oilsands production will rise faster than Canada's ability to curb them, the federal government was warned before new emissions reduction targets were announced last week.
Cabinet documents obtained by CBC News reveal the thinking behind the scenes as the cabinet members mulled over various proposals for Canada's target to cut its greenhouse emissions by 2030.
The documents marked "secret" also suggest Canada should try to negotiate new North American-wide rules to reduce oil and gas emissions in lockstep with the U.S. and Mexico.
And they advise cabinet to follow Alberta's lead when it comes to adopting a national plan to cut emissions — though that advice came a week before the provincial NDP's surprise victory in Alberta's May 5 election.
Last Fr  (go to article)

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Oil Giants Band Together to Add Their Voice to Climate Debate

BloombergBusiness -- Europe’s largest oil companies are banding together to forge a joint strategy on climate change policy, alarmed they’ll be ignored as the world works toward a historic deal limiting greenhouse gases.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA, BP Plc, Statoil ASA and Eni SpA are among oil companies that plan to start a new industry body, or think tank, to develop common positions on the issues, according to people with knowledge of the matter. So far the largest U.S. companies -- Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. -- have decided not to participate, the people said, asking not be named before a public announcement expected as early as next month.

Efforts to reduce fossil fuel investments and spur renewables such as solar and wind power have gathered pace in the past two years with oil companies...  (go to article)

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